Red Lodge, Suffolk
View of Red Lodge village in 2006
|Red Lodge shown within Suffolk|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Red Lodge is a growing community administered by Forest Heath District Council. It has new homes from a variety of building companies centred on the Kings Warren development at the northern end of the village. Currently, community facilities include an Ecumenical church, village hall and venue (known as the Millennium Centre), a sports pavilion with tennis courts, a five-a-side football pitch and allotments. A new school opened in September 2012 and the new village centre which opened in 2014 has a convenience store, fish and chip shop, kebab shop, pharmacy and estate agents. The Red Lodge Steakhouse Restaurant and Pub recently opened its doors too after an extensive refurbishment of the original pub building which is the oldest recorded building in the village.
History of the community
The village dates back to 1926 when the first houses were built, although the pub, Red Lodge Inn, is far older, having been recorded on a map of the site in 1885. It is thought to be a former hunting lodge dating back to the 17th century. The area where most of the new housing is situated was formerly a rabbit warren attached to Freckenham Manor lands, with a history dating back to the 13th century. Red Lodge became a civil parish in 1987, having previously been part of Freckenham parish.
Red Lodge Heath
Red Lodge Heath is an area of acid grassland and lowland and is an SSSI, with a number of nationally rare plants and animals. It includes a population of the five-banded tailed digger wasp, Cerceris quinquefasciata, which nests in bare sand along a path to the north of the site, and on sparsely vegetated slopes to the west. Discovery of the wasp population in 2005 by English Nature meant that Forest Heath District Council had to adapt proposed housing and school development plans in this area of the village.
The Heath is maintained by volunteers from a conservation group established in 2007 and awarded a Lottery grant in 2012.
The nearest railway station to Red Lodge is in Kennett, 2 miles (3 km) away. Buses also serve the village, offering transportation to Mildenhall, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and other nearby towns and villages. Stansted Airport is 41 miles (66 km) away and Luton Airport is 55 miles (89 km). National Express coaches operate services from nearby Mildenhall to Central London; Cambridge; Brighton via Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
Other local businesses
Red Lodge has a long-established transport café which was renowned as being open 24 hours a day. This is now not the case. Red Lodge Karting, is reputed to be one of the largest non-MSA tracks in the country, with two circuits of 1200m and 700m. Other nearby venues include WildTracks centre in Kennett, which offers activities including archery, motorcross and off-roading.
St Christopher's CEVCP School in Bellflower Crescent opened in September 2012 and replaced Tuddenham Primary School, which was too small for the number of students. It is a Church of England voluntary faith school, meaning that Christian values are promoted within the curriculum and all faiths are welcomed. It has capacity for 315 pupils, with further development planned to increase capacity to 420. It delivers education for 5 to 11-year olds and follows the National Curriculum.
The two-storey school is accessible by people with different physical abilities. Teaching facilities include interactive multi-media systems in classrooms, art, design technology and food technology areas, playing field, hard court, hall and drama studio.
Blackbourne School of Dance is based in the village and offers after-school ballet classes at St Christopher's School.
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